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Older adults may be feeling particularly isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic, says a Silver Sneakers survey. Social distancing led to people staying home, many businesses closing, and social events being canceled. It slowed the spread of the virus, but it also cut down on daily interactions with other people.
The study found that three times more seniors say they lack companionship now. They’re not getting out as much to visit friends. They don’t see their family as often. They’re home more, limiting shopping and other errands for the sake of their health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says people 65 and older, and people of all ages who have serious health issues, are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
“The most obvious interruption is in our friendships. We know relationships are important, to have someone to count on, to offer stability and help us feel better,” says the survey from Silver Sneakers, a health and fitness program for adults 65 and older. It’s those relationships that make people feel included. That lowers loneliness and isolation.
The time is right to make connections in new ways. Try these tips:
COVID-19 has caused many people to feel stressed. But there are ways to try to reduce fear and anxiety.
The CDC suggests:
Joining in new or favorite activity can help your health. The National Institute on Aging says older people who are active:
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